Tyler Ulis is keeping Kentucky afloat right now, but John Calipari wants to give his star point guard a break.
“There was a point in the game where he was just carrying us,” Calipari said Monday morning. “With his weight and size, it’s not normal. What I do want to do is play him every minute he can be out there playing at his pace.”
Easier said than done.
“I tried to take him out a couple times, and he’s begging me to leave him in,” Calipari said. “So we’ve got to him a little more of a rotation going.”
Calipari met with Ulis on Sunday to discuss playing time and a “set-in-stone plan” for first-half substitutions.
The coach also wants his leader to read the defense more carefully.
“Kansas opened up the court for him and he scored,” Calipari said. “Later in the game, they collapsed, and he was still trying to get by. I told him, ‘There may be games you get 30 (points) and there are other games you get 12 assists’ … He’s figuring that out, because people are coming after him now. He’s gotta be able to count on these guys to make plays.”
Kentucky plays at Tennessee on Tuesday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).